EMB-CAR records improvement in Baguio air quality

BAGUIO CITY  – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) reported there was a drastic improvement in the city’s air quality within the central business district during the Yuletide season last year compared to the previous year because of the aggressive implementation of the total ban on the use of firecrackers for the Yuletide revelries.

Wilma Lagonilla of the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) said the general ambient air monitoring machine installed in Burnham Park recorded the fair range of air quality in the city,  95 micrograms per cubic meter for PM 10 and 33 micrograms per cubic meter for PM 2.5 midnight of December 31, 2017.

For the previous year, the ambient air monitoring machine was able to record the worst air quality in the city on December 22, 2016 where its reading reached 160 micrograms per cubic meter for PM 10 and 43 micro grams per cubic meter for PM 2.5

The EMB-CAR official explained that the PM 10 ambient air monitoring machine records course samples of pollutants in the city’s air while the PM 2.5 ambient air monitoring machine is able to record fine particulars in the air.

However, Lagonilla pointed out that the pollutants in the city’s air could not only be attributed to the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials for the Yuletide revelries because there are more pollutants from the smoke coming from motor vehicles, among others.

She added for this year, the ambient air monitoring machines recorded high readings on December 7-8, December 16 and December 23 before peaking during the midnight of December 31 or at the height of the New Year revelry when the city government, with the private sector, conducted the community fireworks display at the Melvin Jones grandstand.

“We continue to closely monitor the air quality in the city and other areas where ambient air monitoring machines are installed for us to make the appropriate recommendations to the concerned local governments on the implementation of necessary programs to improve the air quality in the different places where the machines are installed,” Lagonilla stressed.

Under the prevailing national ambient air quality guidelines, the range of 0-50 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 10 is classified as good air quality, the range from 51-150 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 10 is fair while the range from 151-300 micrograms per cubic meters is unhealthy.

The EMB-CAR official expressed her gratitude for the support of government agencies and local governments in the implementation of the interventions geared towards improving the air quality to ensure that people can breath good air quality for the benefit of having better health.    She rallied the public to support the initiatives of the government to sustain the gains of improving the air quality in their places for the benefit of the present and future generations.

By Dexter A. See

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